Bank’s Gift Will Help Diocese Educate Students In Need
By Bruce Tomaselli/The Catholic Register
Christmas may have just ended, but First National Bank keeps on giving. The local financial institution presented a check for over $49,000 to the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (E. I. T. C.), which in turn will be used by the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese’s Second Century Scholarship Fund.
The fund provides educational scholarships to 14 Catholic Elementary Schools and the four diocesan high schools. For the 2016-2017 school year, 83 companies participated in the E.I.T.C. Program, which provided over $1,217,903 to help families who desire to give their children and education rooted in Gospel values but are unable to afford the full tuition.
Contributions to the second Century Scholarship Fund may be unrestricted (assisting students with the greatest financial need) or restricted to a school or schools of one’s choice.
“We are extremely grateful for the businesses that support us and we are excited to see that the program is growing to allow individuals to participate,” said Pam Seasoltz, director of Stewardship and Development for the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese.
“The E.I.T.C. program is a great way to keep dollars at home and in our community while nurturing area students to inspire their faith and build their futures.”
Mark Condrin, First National Commercial Banker, said, “We feel it is important to give back to the community by helping support education within the community such as Catholic Schools.”
The Pennsylvania Education Improvement Tax Credit Program is a great way for area businesses and individuals to direct their tax dollars to support area Catholic schools instead of sending taxes to Harrisburg, said Seasoltz.
Donations to the E.I.T.C. provide tuition assistance to financially-eligible students from kindergarten through 12th grade, while donations to a separate Pre-Kindergarten Tax Credit Program (P.K.T.C.) provide tuition assistance to eligible preschoolers.
Companies can earn up to 90 percent tax credit for E.I.T.C. donations and a 100 percent tax credit for P.K.T.C. program. Individuals with an annual tax liability of $3,500 or more can participate in a program through an expansion of the E.I.T.C. and the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program (O.S.T.C.), called a Special Purpose Entity. By becoming of a Special Purpose Entity, individuals will receive the same tax consideration as businesses.
“These gifts not only help businesses serve their employees and customers directly, but our community also benefits, so it is a win-win for everyone,” said Seasoltz.
Condrin added, “It’s a great way to support non-profits and agencies that help support members of our community in need. We like to support programs and charities in our communities to help enable them to reach their goals.”
[Photo (left to right): Pam Seasoltz, Diocesan Director of Development; Mark Condrin, FNB; Sister Donna Marie Leiden, SC, Diocesan Director of Education; Nick Gates, FNB; Zach Craig, FNB; Matt Stever, Diocesan Chief Financial Officer]